Friday, April 30, 2004

Vanishing Points of Resemblance

Tom Beckett's new book "Vanishing Points of Resemblance" has been getting wonderful notices from Crag Hill, Steve Tills & Eileen Tabios. It's tremendous to see this response; because, judging by Tom's blogged comments, a great amount of himself has been given to its generation.

One of the problems that I have living in a far-flung outpost of the world is the amount of time it takes to get something from anywhere, especially if there are at least one ocean & two substantial landmasses to be traversed. I ordered the book earlier this week, but by the time my letter & the returning book have threaded their way through the paranoid terrorist-screening filters that now exist I'll be lucky if I see it within a month. (So, dear Tom, forgive me when my posting on it is a bit belated.)

The book is available from:
    Generator Press
    3503 Virginia Avenue
    Cleveland, OH 44109
    U.S.A.
            for $US8.00 ($7 + p&h).

Getting to know Tom ethereally has been one of the major joys of my Adventures in Electric Blogland. I can't wait to have something physical of his in my hands......
A touch of Winter in the Rockhampton air today. The overnight temperature dropped to 16°. That's degrees Celsius. Roughly translated into Fahrenheit it was around 60°. That's very, very cold for these parts. People get out their sweaters & their fur-lined jackets. Me? I'm a southerner, so I'm still running around in shorts & a T-shirt.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Someone over the road has been doodling on a slightly out-of-tune piano, one-fingeredly picking out that song from Sound of Music called do-re-mi. &, goddammit, the song has stuck in my head.
So here I am, eating lunch, trying to read Samuel Delany's "Silent Interviews" – pieces of paper stuck all through (though they keep on falling out) to mark passages; going back to re-reading portions of it; trying to get through it, to absorb it all before I have to get it back to the library tomorrow - & singing "doe, a deer, a female deer…."
If it had to be this musical, why couldn't it have been Coltrane across the road, & My Favourite Things.
& the last passage marked....

"With Nietzsche, we learned that God was dead. With Barthes, we learned that the author was dead. With Foucault we learned that man was dead. (It's interesting that people who have no problem negotiating these other demises again and again balk at this one - to me the most important.) With Derrida we learned that the world is constituted of language and that language is undecidable. With de Man language reached new levels of undecidability, where it became undecidable whether or not something was   undecidable. Then, with Rorty and Davidson, we learned that language doesn't exist - and Atlantis would seem to have toppled wholly into the sea!

As Oscar Hammerstein said "ray, a drop of golden sun."
Have just posted poem #29, The Giantess, to my Series Magritte. It is a loose translation of La géante  from Les Fleurs du Mal  by Baudelaire, an earlier version of which prompted & is included in the painting by Magritte.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

This shit is offensive.

Dreaming of Electric Sheep

The war continues
in Iraq. Nebuchadnezzar
has been found hiding
in a hole in the
ground. He refuses
to come out until
they turn Man
in the High Castle

into a movie. So many
other stories by the writer
filmed. Not yet
the best of them. The
Red Crescent gives him
food parcels, the Red Cross
rotates the DVDs
of Blade Runner   & Screamers  
& Total Recall   & Confessions
d'un Bario
  & Imposter
& Paycheck   on a
weekly basis. But not
Minority Report   because
Neb. considers Tom Cruise
to be a pussy. The war
continues. In the rooms of
the supersafe zones up above
the politicians come &
go, searching for photo
opportunites to help them
in their various elections.
They don't know Dick.

Monday, April 26, 2004

In 1920, W.C.W. to the Editor of Poetry

   Dear Miss Monroe:  Provided you will allow me to use small letters at the beginnings of my lines, I submit the following excellent American poem to you for publication in your paying magazine:


          SPIRIT OF '76

            Her father
            built a bridge
            over
            the Chicago River
            but she
            built a bridge
            over the moon.

   This, as you will at once recognize, is an excellent poem and very American. I sincerely hope that no prehistoric prosodic rules will bar it from publication. Yours,
                        W.C.Williams

Sunday, April 25, 2004

will the well run dry?

There's
potentially a
void of inspiration

if
devoid of
inspiration isn't re-elected.

In 1967 it was a different web.....

THE DISTANCES

A slight twist of the dial
changes the music from the samisen
to the Monkees
                                & I am a believer
in the miracle of shortwave radio. Quito,
Ecuador or Radio Peking. The NHK
or the VOA. Pop or propaganda -
you have your choice amongst the
electronic music of the night ether.
Caught in its web, I am a Columbus
searching for new countries, turning
the dial slowly, hoping to hear
station identification through the static
& distortion.

                     This is 1 a.m. Auckland,
a time of dead houses, where only
the streetlamps perforate the darkness.
But in Australia it is
11 p.m. E.S.T., & in Cairo
it is eight hours earlier. To turn
the dial is to turn back the clock.
1 a.m. Auckland. The night is just beginning.

but a similar war

NO EXIT

L'enfer, c'est les autres
Jean-Paul Sartre: Huis Clos

If Hell is other people, this, then, must be
what mine will be like. Walking into the
Embers, Sunday night / Monday morning, to
find the place full of American sailors,
all in white, ten feet tall or dancing
with dwarves. Or, as they all really
are, youngboys, nervously not-too-sure
of the local customs, every one drunk.

                                            We try
to sit apart from them; but we are the natives
here, and must be fed soft clichés to appease
whatever gods we have. For this place, to these
visitors, is temporarily Hell's opposite, & we
its inhabitants. & though we have long hair &
beards, fraternisation is still the democratic order
of the day.
                      "The War? I’d rather not talk
about it. Two buddies back there, both buried."
Or: "I really love this here country. But is coffee
all you drink? Are you sure you wouldn't like
some vodka?" & then the classic, almost popsong
lines: "You know, I really look up to you guys.
Back home" - that fabled land of faith, hope, charity &
Norman Rockwell – "we’d call you hippies. & when
I get back to San Francisco, I've decided to go straight
up to Haight-Ashbury to live."

                                 Yeah? & wear flowers in your hair?

You can almost hear the pages of a training manual being
mentally manipulated. Section 45, paragraph 3: 'Some
useful phrases when dealing with foreign deviant
groups.' The oiled sincerity - well-oiled - & the
protective shield of angel-white uniforms symbolising peace -
but not on Earth, rather somewhere beneath, in a dimly-lit nightclub
where the angels are anonymous. Everyone scared off, or long
gone home: except those women for whom all nations'
boundaries are broken down by money, & we, who blundered in,
not knowing what there was before us.

                                            The plethora of naval might
stunned us; & we came out of it trapped, & being patronised
by these young servicemen who have been told they're doing right
& must continue to believe so, even though their buddies die &
they themselves are losing their best years. We think of talking,
of telling them what seems to us more like the truth; but what
to say / or how to say it? This far away, with the war
closed off by distance & the flak jackets that now protect
their minds, the words that choke our throats can have no exit.

Though they come as angels, these are
the other people. Nothing we can do but wait
for them to go & take this Hell - their Heaven -
                                                                             with them.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Some Helpful Hay(na)ku Hints

With Meritage Press announcing a call for submissions to an anthology of hay(na)ku - details - I thought I'd start posting the occasional helpful hay(na)ku hint - hereafter to be called HHHs - for those who may not have so far used the form.The first are below.

#1
Don't
worry about
counting the syllables.

#2
If you're from
Australia or
New

Zealand they can
go like
this.

#3
Acronyms
can go
however you like.

HHH
but also
H    H    H.

#4
Hyphenated
words? Poem-
driven or poem-driven.

#5
Check
out Crag
Hill's Poetry Scorecard
.

His
hay(na)ku are
brilliant & diverse.

Friday, April 23, 2004

for the xenophobic amnesiacs

So
large an
explosion that only

from
space can
it be seen

entire.
So long
a policy of

isolation
it takes
a day to

recall
there is
a world outside

&
call on
it for help.

thought for the day

Make
your thoughts
manifest. Karl Marx.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

"...the inimitable Mark Young"
That may be so, Tom, but I'm available for cloning if the money's right.

hotmail spam-email subject lines - a final reprise

I finally succumbed & opened one, accidentally I must admit, says he, coughing into his hand. ahem.
& after a couple of contact URLs inviting me to either lose weight or increase my manhood, whether simultaneously I am unsure, came what is posted below. I am uncertain if it means that we have so many words running around in our brain that we could lose a few & thus lose weight or whether it's a mantra that you recite on the night of the full moon whilst standing naked in front of a mirror & rubbing your belly in a widdershins direction.
Make what you will of it.

wolfgang masochist footbridge conundrum burial bode apprise visual agway vitriol
vanderpoel apart bawdy husbandry communion amoral kapok neutron kennecott ale
wing emphysema heinrich plod schoolbook .
stoic chaise gangplank anteroom quadrangular descendant commend amphibious
covary era muscovite sabotage disposable accentual backlog traceable contiguity
boyfriend airspace net bohr excavate bacilli donner dimension invoice .
premiere biochemic cheeky annal dominate bullyboy della lunch idyllic baneful
ariadne annette babble fluke debugged assign engineer fermentation criminal copy
pygmy cotillion deflect hilly .
geology leap plenum applique derision curtsey assyria deign quadrangle arrack
millionth agglutinate ike dickens falter decent fedders jeannie clarke australia
employee changeable graduate pathology architect tuberculin bennington
recuperate .
humphrey monocotyledon civet persian belfast basal algorithm lipid republic
briefcase complicate behold cloudy dowling thoroughgoing meant spheric
bureaucrat diploidy ashland osgood dean reef contradistinct withheld beset
profligacy beloit .
algorithmic stillwater predatory amount deprivation plenty gigavolt stipple
townsmen rapture dearborn caribbean retard .

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

THE
HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY:
A SUBMISSIONS CALL

Meritage Press is pleased to announce a Submissions Call for THE HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY, co-edited by Jean Vengua and Mark Young. Deadline: December 31, 2004. Send submissions (cutnpasted in body of e-mail) to MeritagePress. Please submit no more than ten (10) hay(na)ku.
Check out the details at the Hay(na)ku Blog.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

why I never became a computer programmer

#1

My
programs were
like Russian rockets -

did
the job
but so over-engineered.

#2

If
I wrote
hay(na)ku like I

used
to program
in C++, then

nine
tercets here
instead of three.

Monday, April 19, 2004

a fifth ficcione, for the master this time

The spines
of the older
books in the
Libraries of
Buenos Aires
& of Babel
are worn thin
from the
number of times
Jorge Luis Borges
wandered
along the rows
& read
the titles.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

see what i mean!

Reporter: After 9/11 what would your biggest mistake be, would you say?

George W. Borg: You know, I just - I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference - all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer. But it hasn't yet.

Crag Hill has turned the above interchange into a hay(na)ku sequence on his poetry scorecard. I love the way the slope of each stepped tercet creates a pointed head.
In a post below I mention how I love the way words drift in meaning. What I hate is the way names of things are changed for either purposes of aggrandisement or because the original may have been too explicit in its purpose.

I notice in today's paper that "body bags" is no longer an approved term. The new Pentagon-speak is "transfer tubes". & I always thought that was just the passage that Borg had missing between his mouth & his brain.

Diaspora (an outtake from The Cicerone)

News is
a humming-bird
unafraid of
the dark. We left
before the Spaniards
came, going across
the mountains
by the lower
passes where
the snow
was light. Then
each family
in a different
direction.

We left behind
the raw material
of myths. Took

the stories with us.
Always to be told
in a present tense
so the past is

immediate.
There are poems you write & give to people & say "Read this". & there are poems you write & give to people & say "Please read this & tell me what you think of it". Generally the first are the ones you're happy with. The second tend to be poems that you're unsure of, that can best be summed up by that Punch cartoon from the nineteenth century that has a Curate having breakfast with his Bishop & responding to the latter's observation that his subordinate has just been served a rotten egg with "Oh no, my Lord, I assure you parts of it are excellent".

&, of course, there are sub-categories – poems that you submit for the sake of submission knowing full well that they're not worthy of the act; or poems A, B & C are pretty good, so let's just slide in poem D to ride on their backs.

I've been working on a poem loosely linked to a Magritte painting called The Cicerone. Longish, made up of several parts, having more to do with the title than the painting. It has one longer section, the first written, which is the critical one, the core of the poem. The other sections I would classify as being akin to the photos a tourist takes of village life before & after the festival which was the main purpose of the visit. Background detail. I've worked on them, re-arranged, added, subtracted &, indeed, parts of them are excellent. But most of them don't stand alone, & as an entirety detract from the main section of the poem which is self-sufficient & the only one that derives directly from Magritte.

I posted an earlier, very similar, version of the main section to As/Is some time back. & now, after consideration & after critiques on the entire piece from Michele Leggott & Tom Beckett – Tom direct, Michele more circumspect – for which I thank them immensely, the trimmed back to the core Cicerone has now been posted to Series Magritte.

I’d also like to thank Jean Vengua for her bounce-back on the earlier posting to As/Is & for her even-earlier bounces-back & which, judging by the subtle references, I'm very gratified to see she remembers. I remember them with much pleasure, & with pride for having in part provoked them.


Saturday, April 17, 2004

A Fourth Ficcione for M.E.

Very near the end of the last
of his thirteen thoroughly researched
but possibly premature books
on the collapse of the Mung economy
André Pierre de Sèche-Cheveux
includes as part of a footnote
an anecdote from a Norwegian doctor
working for the World Health Organisation
& one of the last étrangères
to leave the country
who tells how the transition
to Marxism produced such an
outpouring of books, from
The Poems of Ho Chi Minh
through to Marx's Das Kapital,
that the export timber trade -
which although foreign owned
still brought in the majority
of the country's overseas earnings -
was totally destroyed because
all the trees had been cut down
& pulped. A footnote which might
have appeared had there been
a fourteenth volume was that
the Mung became prosperous again
by using the cleared ground to grow
opium; &, through value-adding
& vertical expansion, oversaw
its refining & ultimate processing
into heroin & a range of
legitimate pharmaceutical alkaloids
which they moved around the world
in a fleet of converted timberships they'd
bought up cheaply at a bankruptcy sale.


Friday, April 16, 2004

    Bill Allegrezza, in a post to his p-ramblings last month, quoted Italo Cavino's suggestion that each writer has a writer to whom he or she always returns & wondered whether this statement was true for most writers. I thought about it in relation to myself as I read it - & the fact that I had to think about it is probably the answer in itself.
    But I was thinking about poetry; & though I find that there are individual poems that I constantly return to – Lawrence Ferlinghetti's poem starting with "Constantly risking absurdity and death" from "A Coney Island of the Mind" & Kenneth Rexroth's "The Advantages of Learning" are two immediate examples – I couldn't think of an individual poet at the time.
    There are, however, a number of prose writers to whom I return again & again for succour &/or inspiration &/or explanation & who I would be hard pressed to separate into ranks of favouritism. They are mainly speculative writers – Delany, Ballard, Eco & Borges – plus Richard Brautigan who brought joy to my soul from the very first reading in the early sixties of one of his pieces from "Trout Fishing in America". The first four have created landscapes & environments which I instinctively recognise & feel at home in. With Brautigan I am at home. & then there's Genêt…..
    But back to poetry. & poets. Thinking about the books on my shelves & how often I take them down, I realise there are three poets to whom I regularly return. There's Denise Levertov who was one of my early influences; William Carlos Williams who wasn’t so much an influence as an inspiration (& whose "Be patient that I address you in a poem. There is no other fit medium" is my screensaver); but it is Gary Snyder to whose poetry – rather than his individual poems – I keep going back most often.

         A Mind Poet
         Stays in the house.
         The house is empty
         And it has no walls.
         The poem
         Is seen from all sides,
         Everywhere,
         At once.

    Going beyond the world of words, does it have to be a writer to whom one returns? Possibly the reason I had such difficulty answering Bill's question initially is because the creative streams I keep returning to are the paintings of Magritte & Bosch, the compositions of Bach &, above & beyond all others, the music of Miles Davis which I have revisited so much it is permanently engraved upon my soul.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

  George W Borg attempting to explain that he's got the situation in Iraq under control would be worthy of the Comedy Channel if the fact that he probably believes what he's saying wasn't so frightening .
  Still, if you've united the Shi'ites & the Sunnis, even if it is in opposition against you, you probably think that you're halfway there.
  & the later comment from an observer that even after all this time this "Coalition of the Witless" don't really know who it is they're fighting against.
  I am reminded of Samuel Delany's early sixties trilogy "The Fall of the Towers" - has anybody suggested that title be changed? - which was also about "fighting" an unknown & largely imagined enemy. Borg should take especial note of an epigraph Delany coins in it:

                  YOU ARE TRAPPED IN THAT BRIGHT
            MOMENT WHEN YOU LEARNED YOUR DOOM

  As for me, I just remember the lies that were told as to why we were in Vietnam, watch another unnecessary casualty list grow & garble a quote from another Borg to come up with "futility is resistant to rational thought".
  I find the way words drift & shift in meaning delightful.
  Yesterday I checked on the spelling of "triage" in my, admittedly 30 years old, Concise Oxford Dictionary, & found the definition given there was "the refuse of coffee beans".
  Since this was nothing like what I was expecting (& started to wonder if I had, in fact, the right word) I moved on to the ten years younger Shorter Oxford & found two definitions; "The action of sorting according to quality" which is much closer to current usage although apparently an older meaning since the second definition was "coffee beans of the third or lowest quality".
  & putting them together I came up with a new job, a "triage specialist" who wanders the waiting areas of ER words, oops, wards inspecting empty coffee cups to see if they can divine in the leftovers what the patient's ailment might be.....
  & I am delighted when I discover new words, especially those that I can relate to. The latest is "linkrot", what happens when that URL you've linked to suddenly vanishes from the ether.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Hotmail
has let
me down today -

only
one piece
of non-linear spam.

It
is barely
breathing. Fortunately I

have
The Chatelaine's
Travelling Triage &

Hay(na)ku
Ambulance Service
to give it

tongue-
& thumb-free
mouth to mouth

quasar
pliocene forlorn
gopher arachnid bonding.
    I watched LOTR1 on cable over the weekend. Still liked the film with little if any dimunition of pleasure since my first viewing; but then I still enjoy rereading the books every seven years or so.
    But part of the visual pleasure is the fact that the film was shot in New Zealand's Southern Alps which are one of the amino acids of my psyche along with, preferably the southern ocean when it's angry, the sea – "The Sea. Even my secret speech is moist with it" as Amiri Baraka wote when he was LeRoi Jones - & the sound of distant trains.
    My main memory of Hokitika, where I was born – contrary to the comment I read in an Australian newspaper a couple of months ago that no-one was ever born in Hokitika - & lived until I was six, is of one horizon made up entirely of mountains which the town's main street ran directly towards until it was swallowed up by them. Or so it seemed. Distant, but still large enough & difficult enough to pass through or over to isolate the area from the outside world. A town founded on a nineteenth-century gold rush – contemporary photos show a forest of masts rising up from the river; when I was there, only one flat-bottomed scow could make it over the bar at the river's mouth – with 47 pubs & a population of 4700 – do the maths & you'll find that there must have been little else to do except drink. A town taking its time to die, but probably now revitalised by tourism.
    At spawning time the river would run bank to bank with whitebait – inanga in the Maori; I remember mountain parrots resting on the back fence; & every now & again, you would see a sacred white heron, a kotuku, flying over to or from their single breeding ground further down the coast.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

today's markyoung622 enlarge your unit by 25 percent hotmail email subject matter found poem

    judicature diminution triceratops coralli
    adobe detour payroll turtle controversy
    loveland genera phrasemake dagger enterprise
    squatter devoid haven tehran kettle morph
    cloddish zippy heliocentric altercate albumen
    telegram droll lyle neutron adolphus bounty
    kensington promptitude codebreak algebraic
    connivance howell miocene chateaux decade

One of these days I must open one instead of deleting them unread.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Two new Series Magritte.

A new dialect/ic?

The spammers who bombard my "public" email address seem to have a new subject source, possibly Jukka's nonlinear poetry.

Six of them from today's crop:

     silas escheat grown blend brittle
     belong northerly scrawl crayfish soviet
     bunt auburn commiserate orono galvanic
     cranston merge configuration fudge council
     bronco casual defy colloquial kalamazoo head
     missouri scribe sedition arose wax collection

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Alan Ramsey writing in the Sydney Morning Herald on April 10.

    The "troops home" debate is as phoney as the supposed reasons we got into Iraq in the first place. How can anyone take seriously Howard's frothing about "getting the job done" when, in a "coalition" military force of 135,000, of which 115,000 are US fighting troops, we're talking about a mere 850 Australian non-combatants, of whom only 460 are in Iraq? The proposition is absurd. Australia is in Iraq for political reasons only. Our minute military force is part of the political ballast the Bush White House needs to try to legitimise the invasion as well as the mounting toll in US blood and treasure to remake Iraq in its own strategic image. We are just part of the deception.
    Which means the Howard Government's suggestion of any "force reduction" being a matter for "decision" at "the appropriate time" is just more wool. We are there for as long as the Americans want us there, just as it has coerced so many other "allies" in its ratbag "coalition of the willing".
    It is all a terrible farce, but such a deadly one.

The full article is available here.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Mark's diacritic

Eagle-eyed observers may have noticed that what was once Rene at the top of the sidebar has now become René. My thanks go to the person who added a comment to a small poem of mine to Kurt Gödel – which I had as Godel - posted on As/Is some months ago. It's taken this long, plus the intervention of a comment on Crag Hill's poetry scorecard on what characters to use to insert spaces into blogger text, plus some experimenting on my posts, to put it all together. Not only can I now indent things if I want to but I can get rid of that annoying run-on effect that joins an italicised  word to the following plain text one –e.g. italicised word – that seems inherent to this particular blogger template.

I'd also like to thank Michele Leggott for using the word "diacritics" in one of her poems & thereby letting me know what the collective noun for all these little distinctive doodads is.

To all of you, just let me say áè - î ó ù.

Friday, April 09, 2004

part error message, part hay(na)ku

"There are too many spelling &
grammar errors for Microsoft Word
to continue displaying them."

So?

Found
out long
ago that poetry

tends
to upset
Bill Gates' software.
A poem of mine from Jacket a couple of years ago.

George W's Language Primer

He put words in my mouth.

I do not like the taste
of them, I said. Certainly
I have used them all before,
but they feel strange in this
context, have no real meaning
to me. This is not
how I would arrange them.

Spit them out & let me
look at them again, he said.

So I did. Out they came -
American terrorists fucking.
Arab mother burning.
Anti-hate flag.

An advisor hurried up &
whispered in his ear. Let me
re-arrange them for you said
George W. when the advisor
had finished. Swallow them
again, taste them, roll them around
in your mouth & see how they feel
now, how they sound. Say
them over & over, like one
of those Buddhist montereys or
manta rays or whatever
they are called. Remember too
that you are either for us or
against us, a friend or an enemy -
there is no middle ground.

I put his words in my mouth again.
I tried what he said. Tasted them
as they came out. This time
they had a ring to them that I could learn
to live with. Hate mother-fucking anti-
American flag-burning Arab terrorists.

I tried them again & they felt even
better the second time around. Now
I use them all the time. I am proud
to be called a friend of the President .

what's in a word?

I see Rumsfeld is back to using terrorist again. Was "insurgents" implying too much legitimacy?

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

The latest issue of Bill Allegrezza's excellent ezine Moria is up & includes poems by Harry K.Stammer, Chris Murray, Jean Vengua, Eileen Tabios, Clayton Couch & the late LYX ISH amongst others.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

In a groove where I'd rather not be

The book falls open
at the same page.

A bird is singing;
I have heard its song before.

At night all cats are grey.

Butterflies rise disturbed
by the wind then settle
waiting for the next gust.

Once again I walk
these long baroque corridors.

Will no-one rescue me?

Monday, April 05, 2004

The Lost Jockey has made their way to Series Magritte.

deja vu hay(na)ku

A
moment both
old & new.

These were some of my heroes in 1967 or '68

Me - if you were not you,
who would you like to be?

for Adrian Henri, who thought of it first

Tristan Tzara William Burroughs
Han-Shan The Rolling Stones
Che Guevara Akira Kurosawa
Charlie Mingus & LeRoi Jones

Borges Bunuel Bach Bosch & Breton
Gunter Grass & Heinrich Boll
Batman Robin Baron Munchausen
Ravi Shankar & Andy Warhol

Miles Davis Daisetz T. Suzuki
Rimbaud Verlaine & Baudelaire
Ginsberg Corso & Ferlinghetti
Jean Genet Apollinaire

Anais Nin & Henry Miller
Bob Dylan & Marcel Duchamp
Basho Cocteau Jean-Paul Belmondo
Dostoevsky & Terence Stamp

Ernst & Arp & Arthur Waley
Stanley Kubrick & William Eastlake
Diana Ross & The Supremes
Samuel Beckett & William Blake

Humphrey Bogart Frank O'Hara
Jimi Hendrix Pierre Reverdy
Alan Price & Alan Watts
Gary Snyder Rene Magritte

Paul Eluard Toshiro Mifune
Jack Kerouac Ray Bradbury
de Chirico & Otis Redding
John Lennon & Mahatma Gandhi

Ray Charles & Terry Southern
J.G.Ballard & John Rechy
W.C.Williams & W.C.Fields
Miro Catullus

&
last of all
me

from: The right foot of the giant

Sunday, April 04, 2004

I have just posted - wrote pasted which is what I also did - an extract from #15 of my Series Magritte to As/Is. I am uncomfortable when there are only sparse posts there. The site has given me so much joy since it started I feel I cannot abandon it even though I now have two blogs of my own.

The Cicerone is a long poem I am working on. It is a marvellous word - a guide who understands & explains antiquities - & a marvellous painting by Magritte.

To balance the ledger a bit, I'm posting - & pasting - a few more extracts here. When it's all done, if ever, then I'll post it to its proper home.

from The Cicerone

Maize &
manioc. Beans
& sweet potatoes.
Tomatoes. A type
of lettuce. Many crops,
but corn the most
important of
them all. Ground
into flour, fed to the
animals, fermented
for beer. Half of
what was left
we kept for trade,
half to the priests
at summer solstice. Corn
was the keystone
of our lives.

*

Yes, we knew about arches
& architecture. Some
of us had the skills
but even then allowed
the priests to tell us
how to build our houses. & we
knew about cornerstones
though to have used that here
would have meant
playing one word against another
in a way that would not please
the gods. Humour
that is invented is profane.

*

In back of
the temple the
priests' gardens. Sun-
flowers
in one, peyote
in the other. A path
to the heavens, a
passage to the
depths. Sacred
plots, secret texts.

*

Every year,
on a day we knew
but waited for
the priests to tell us
we would melt
the soft metal
& cast it
in the form
of the family
totem. Placed
on the wall
but occasionally
worn. If a boy
had been born
the previous year
a new line would
be started. If a
girl, then a space
in the father's line.


Saturday, April 03, 2004

......There is
an A-Z of those whose images I have pursued
perused & used.


I have always worn my influences - & sometimes my heroes – on my sleeve. Poem titles, dedications, epigraphs, quotes, direct internal references & slightly more oblique references that weren't too hard to pick up.

.

Seems like when the universe gets a theme it runs with it for a couple of days. I talked about Frank O'Hara yesterday, & then later discovered that a new issue of Tin Lustre Mobile was up, & in it was my "Lunch with Frank O'Hara".

Ah well, so long as I don't see Mayakovsky's hat worn by a horse.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Check out this wonderful N+7 makeover by Michael James Bogue of Frank O'Hara's "Why I am not a Painter" at As/Is.

In one of those synchronicities that delight the heart I was thinking of the O'Hara poem when I posted "Kuhn's Nude, Duchamp's Paradigm" a couple of days ago. "Kuhn" is an outtake from a longer poem called "The Armory Show" which got its name from the reference to Duchamp's "Nude Descending a Staircase", a painting which caused enormous controversy in the U.S. when it was first exhibited in what has now come to be known as the Armory Show.

& now the Nude has stepped out of my poem. But the title remains. & so I was thinking about SARDINES. Sorry, make that SARGASSO.



A hay(na)ku sequence for Gary Snyder

The
female is
not always fertile -

these
offerings are
testament to that.

Mounds
of coloured
rice left in

the
laps of
the carved gods.

At
night the
temple gates close.

By
morning the
rice is gone.

The
rich use
saffron & paper

plates.
All the
poor can afford

is
wild turmeric
& banyan leaves.

The
better the
gift the more

chance
of conception
is what the

priests
say. What
the priests say

is
not heard
by the gods.

They
have no
interest in rice,

leave
that for
the priests' dinner.

Their
concern is
with the yellow

fingerprint
stains left
by the women

on
the offering
platters. Tracing the

whorls
to see
what is written

there
of the
supplicant's future. "It

is
a difficult
dance to do."




It's a bit disconcerting when a comment on a poem is more evocative than the poem itself. Check out the beautiful hay(na)ku sequence in the comments on #25 of my Series Magritte by Joseph Garver.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

I have been playing around using a chessboard as a matrix. Fill all of the 64 squares with one or two words. They can be selectively random - which is what I prefer - but could just as easily be a list of titles from a CD or a poem or a passage of prose.

Select a chess game at random, & a position within that game. Somewhere between the 10th & 20th move is best, because there are still most of the 32 pieces left on the board but they're quite well dispersed. Then remove all the words from the unoccupied squares. (Or you could take a much later position, & use only those squares that don't have pieces...)

Since this is a free blog I can't include any directly here; but there's a nice little pdf file in the latest issue of Jukka-Pekka Kervinen's xStream that contains three "games".

One of the many joys of xStream is the simultaneous auto issue that accompanies & rearranges in that inimitable J-P K way the poems contained within the "straight" issue. I've commented on it before

    Master Class in that
    a group of us
    are brought together
    & once we've finished
    demonstrating our skills
    are then shown
    how it should be
    done.

& then there's the ebooks, & the Wryting, & the collaborative works, & his widely-published poems & his wonderful blog.

Well worth the price of the airfare to Finland or the ethereal ether trip.

A Third Ficcione for Martin Edmond

In their final pass over
the city of Nagasaki
did the crew of Bock's Car
take any time out
as they maybe crossed themselves
or touched a lucky dollar
in their flightjacket
to consider that
in their collective
incarnation as Shiva
they were the messengers
sent to cause
this fatal collision
between St Francis Xavier
& Christopher Columbus
who had both departed
the Atocha Station
four or so centuries before
going in opposite directions.